Next's shares, which have been one of the market's best performers since bottoming out at just 13p at the beginning of 1991, fell 23.5p, however, to close at 576.5p as the market worried that sales in the second half to date were starting to flag. "The increase in sales is a lot less than people were expecting," said Nick Bubb, retail analyst at MeesPierson.
Despite the disappointment in the City, Lord Wolfson, chairman, said the results showed the Next brand was making good progress both on the high street and in home shopping. The mail order business saw an 18 per cent rise in customers to 620,000 and sales per customer also rose.
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